You’ve probably never seen one, but you’ve almost certainly heard them mentioned, usually with a note of disgust. They’re gruesome little creatures, related to the spider, but much smaller and harder to detect. And they cause endless problems for those who are allergic to them. For all of these reasons, knowing how to eliminate dust mites is important for anyone concerned with keeping their mattress and home as sanitary as possible.
Here are some basic facts about them. Dust mites have eight legs and hard shells for bodies, with a slight bluish tint. They love warm, humid environments. They live at most for three months, but during that time a female can hatch hundreds of eggs. They earn their name from their love of household dust, especially flakes of dead skin from humans and animals. Dust mites don’t bite people or drain their blood, despite what you might have heard, but they do leave millions of their feces in the areas they inhabit, which is a prime cause of the allergic reaction many people have to them. Though they’re exceptionally tiny, a person with good eyesight can see one against a black background.
Now that you know a little bit about the enemy, here’s how to make war on it:
If you can, reduce the temperature and/or humidity in your home – Dust mites die if the air around them has a consistent humidity level of less than 50%. Of course, you may not be willing or able to move to the desert, so another option is to run dehumidifiers in your house. Keeping it cool helps as well. They cannot survive unless the temperature is a least 70 degrees, so air conditioning is an effective way to slay them. Just make sure you don’t give yourself a cold in the process.
Put a barrier between you and them – Bed covers are available that are impermeable to dust mites. Using one on your mattress will not only help keep it new, it will also deprive the mites of their favorite meal: you. During the night, thousands of dead skin cells rub off of your flesh into an unprotected mattress. Also, the cover will help to keep your sweat and body warmth from reaching the sleep surface, and dust mites just love warm, moist places.
Launder, vacuum, and dust, dust, dust! – What looks like a tiny bit of dirt in a corner to you is a giant feast to a dust mite. Do what you can within reason to keep your home clean. Frequently washing clothes and bed coverings, as well as vacuuming mattresses, carpets, and rugs, will get rid of millions of them, and discourage others from showing up.
Stay away from chemical warfare – There are some sprays and other products on the market that are lethal to dust mites. The problem is, they’re also lethal to human beings. They contain noxious pesticides and dangerous ingredients that can be harmful or even fatal to people and their pets. On the other hand, some people do get good results by adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to their laundry.
Change your mattress – Parklane latex rubber mattresses are three times more resistant to dust mites than sleep surfaces made from other materials. Purchasing one can deprive the pesky little critters of a suitable environment in which to exist.
If all else fails, go see the doctor – He or she can administer shots that will in many cases reduce or even eliminate allergic reactions to dust mite leavings and exoskeletons. These work by injecting tiny amounts of allergens into your body, allowing it to develop a gradual resistance. Your health care provider can give your more information.
One thing’s for sure: a good night’s sleep will give you a rested body and a clear mind, allowing you to deal with dust mites and all of the other challenges you face on a daily basis. We can help, by providing you with a top-quality mattress as well as other sleep products. Browse our mattresses and let us know what we can do for you!